For years I’ve examined my Kentucky deer hunting ground and look at it through the eyes of some sort of curator. I wasn’t happy unless my deer hunting food plots looked like a manicured carpet of beauty. Food plots needed to be weed free and pretty! If you were going to put a Kentucky deer hunt for sale, it seemed to make sense to make the property look like a piece of artwork. This all sounds good, but it wears on you a little, but it’s still fun! Then you have 13+ food plots to manage year after year, you risk the notion that this could be considered “work”. This is not meant to be “work” or a for profit business at all. I manage my land for trophy whitetail Kentucky deer hunting because I want it to be the best in the area. I don’t do it for money. The by-product of being good and something is probably a little money, but that isn’t the goal.
On the flop side to the “eye test” for human judgment vs. actual deer use is that the deer don’t care what your food plots look like! They care about some of the following things:
1) does this food taste good
2) is there any danger while eating this food
3) how much danger vs. reward is there for eating this food
4) what kind of “edge” or concealment do I have when eating this food
5) can I escape easily of a threat comes nearby
Does that sound about right? I could even toss in a question like, “Is there another type of food blended in here that will make this eating process more palatable and enjoyable?” You know what I’m talking about Mr. Expert Kentucky bow hunter. I’m talking about when you are eating your salad, then the main course with a little desert afterwards. A biological warm-blooded creature isn’t much different from us. Kentucky outfitters consider all the possibilities when managing their deer hunting land for whitetail deer. Kentucky hunting guides are truly the experts when it come putting you in front of deer. They seek out areas for successful harvest rates, not for how good food plots look.
Don’t get stuck in the trap of trying to sell your Kentucky deer hunts to hunters instead of the actual deer. When bow hunting in Kentucky, hunters do not care what the food plots look like, they just want to be put in an optimized position to see a wall hanger. Those seeking a Kentucky gun hunt follow the same rules. Sure a pretty food plot looks great, but if a whitetail isn’t shot, that is what they’ll remember. Similarly, if you’re Kentucky food plots look something awful, but the gun hunter shoot a trophy, they won’t care if they were hunting over a desert!